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DOCTRINAL EPISTLE, 



WRITTEN BY 

ELLAS HICKS, 

OF JEHICO, ON LONG ISLAND, 

r 

IN THE YEAR 



1820; 
PURPORTING TO BE 

AN EXPOSITION 

OF 

CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE, 

RESPECTING 

THE NATURE AND OFFICE 

OF 

JESUS CHRIST. 






\ 



WITH REFERENCES 
TO THOSE TEXTS OF SCRIPTURE 

BY WHICH ITS TRUTH, OR FALLACY, MAY BE READILY TESTED. 



Beloved, believe not every Spirit; but try the Spirits! whether they are of God. 

1 John, iv. i. 



PUBLISHED BY S. POTTER & 00. PHILADELPHIA, BLISS & WHITE, 
NEW YORK, AND C. J. 00AL3. BALTKO/lEj / - * . 

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TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 

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NOTICE TO THE READER. 



In the following Review of the Epistle in question, it was 
thought the fairest, as well as the clearest and most intelligible 
mode of exposition, to give the whole Epistle, as it has been 
circulated in manuscript, by the author; and to confront the same, 
in its various assumptions, and positions, with the plain letter of 
the Scriptures, upon opposite pages. This method allows every 
reader an opportunity of drawing his own conclusions, as to the 
soundness of the writer's opinions, and their consistency, or in- 
consistency, with the whole tenor of the Old and New Testaments, 
as to the soul-interesting facts of the Birth and Mission of our 
Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



That which beginneth a good work in us, shew- 
ing the difference between thing and thing, and 
things that differ 11 

The mode of redemption generally held by Pro- 
fessing Christians 11 

Redemption of outward bodies 13 

The offering of the body of Jesus Christ applied 
only as matter of Redemption to the Israelites. 13 

The top stone of that figurative Dispensation. . 13 

Their Messiah, viz. the Jews' 13 

Redemption from sin 15 

Jesus Christ not sent into the world purposely to 
suffer death, for other men, because they were 
wicked; and he was righteous 15 

The sufferings of the righteous, including those of 
Jesus Christ, entirely opposite to, and inconsis- 
tent with, the purpose and will of God. . . .17 









v it* 



6 

If it was not so the perpetrators of these crimes 
would stand justified 17 

Predestination and Election 1? 

This probationary scene fitted to give opportunity 
to the rational man to rise above that innocent 
state in which he was created, to that exalted 
state of virtue and glory 1® 

God never sent his son Jesus Christ purposely 
into the world to suffer death 19 

All the sufferings and martyrdoms of the just have 
had their rise and spring from man's unrighteous 
use of his liberty 21 

Man in his probationary state was possessed of 
power and a liberty to do his makers will. 



issessed of a 
:er's will. . 21 



Had the Israelites all been faithful they would 
have received their Messiah, and the end of his 
coming would have been more fully answered. . 2$ 

The end of his coming would have been much 
more fully answered. . 23 

No suffering, no crucifixion, no death, of Jesus 
Christ, would have taken place, and he would, 
like Enoch and Elijah, have been translated, 
without suffering the pains of death 23 



t 






i i ■ ■■ . 



Would hare been translated, like Enoch and 
jah 25 

The doctrine of the Trinity I also consider a weak 
and vulgar error 27 

It is also a doctrine unwarranted by Scripture. . 27 

The word Trinity is not to be found in the Bible. 27 

Although the Israelites often asserted that the 
spirit of the Lord was upon them; yet they mani- 
fest no idea of any divisibility or distinction of 
persons between God and his spirit . ... 29 

God is a spirit, and nothing but spirit, &c. . . . 31 






■*: ;■ 



-.V . 

. A".'. < ■ 



A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE, 



ADDRESSED TO 



W B I- 



First Month, 15, 1830. 
Esteemed Friend, 

Thine of the fourth instant, came duly to hand; 
and was very acceptable. Thy object in writing, 
as it regards thy religious queries, attracted my 
attention; and although thou assures me, that, 
from present appearances, thou wilt never be- 
come a Quaker, or Friend; yet I apprehend that 
which induced thee to drop the sentiment, is a 
favourable omen, and leads me to hope, that if 
thou attends faithfully to that which has begun a 
good work in thy vision, and has enabled thee to 
see men, as trees, walking; and shown thee the 
baneful effects of the prejudice of education, and 
how mightily tradition and custom tyrannise over 
the human mind, and bind it down as with fetters 
of iron, too strong for reason alone to rend asun- 
der, and set the captive soul free. 



*- 



10 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

If thou willingly, and patiently, adheres to that 
which hath begun a good work in thee, by shewing 
thee the difference between thing and thing, and 
things that differ, I not only feel a hope (although 
it will be through deep inward suffering, and the 
cross, as none ever became real Christians, or 
Quakers, without it) that thou wilt yet become a 
Quaker, or Christian, which are one. And I hope 
a good one. But to come to this happy experi- 
ence depends very much on thyself. For if thou 
willingly surrenders thyself as an offering to God, 
to do his will, as by the light in thy own heart 
and conscience he is pleased to manifest it to 
thee, thy understanding will be more and more 
opened, into things that concern thy present and 
everlasting peace. 

I don't admire at the difficulties thou hast had 
to encounter, in regard to the mode of redemption 
generally held by professing Christians, as being 
effected by the death, or outward dying, of Jesus 
Christ upon the outward, wooden, cross. This, as 
it regards the redemption of the immortal soul 
from the bondage of sin, / consider a vulgar er- 
ror, that came in with the apostacyfrom primitive 
Christianity. 



THE SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH. H 

(" That which beginneth a good work (in us) 
" shewing the difference between thing and thing, 
"and things that differ.") 

[St. Paul declared to the first Christians, " Whatsoever doth 
make manifest is light;" George Fox directed his followers to 
" the light within;*' and the saving operation of that " grace and 
truth which came by Jesus Christ," is now acknowledged by most 
Protestant Churches, as " a light shining in a dark place, where- 
nnto we do well to take heed.' 9 ] 

We hare this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may he of God and 
not of u*v—/. Corinthian*, it-. 7. 

The wind bloweth where it nsteth,and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence 
it cometh, nor whither it goeth: 80 is (it with) every one that is born of the spirit.— J«An. Hi. 8. 

The light of the body is the eve: therefore when thine eye b single, thj whole body also is full 
of tight: but when thine eye is "evil, thy body also is lull of darkness. Take heed therefore, that 
the light which is in thee be not darkness.— Lute, xi. 34, 3*. 



(" The mode of redemption generally held by 
; ' professing Christians, as being effected by the 
" death or outward dying of Jesus Christ uport the 
" outward, wooden, cross.") 

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible thing*, such as silver and 
fold; but with thepredou* blood of ChrUt; as of a lamb without blemish, and without ip*t— 1 Pe- 
ter, xvifi. 19. 

Who his own self bore our tint, in bis own body, on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, should 
live unto righteousness.— Ibidem, ii. 34. 

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, and hanged on a tree [or as Thompson 
hath it] ouopentkd on a cro**. Hun hath God exalted, with his right hand, to be a prince and a 
saviour; for to give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of 
these things [said Peter to the High Priest, and the Great Council of the Jews,] and so is also the 
Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to rhem that obey him.— Act*, v. 30, 31, 32. 

God, who hi sundry times, and in divers manners, spake, in times past, unto the Fathers, by the 
Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by hn Son, whom be hath appointed heir of all 
tilings.— Hebrew*, 1. 1, 2. 

He gave himself a ransom for eff to be testified in due time.— 1 Timothy, ii. ft. 

For God sent not his Son into the World to condemn the World, but that the World, through 
hhn. might be saved.— 2 Peter, Hi. 9 

Therefore as by the offence of one (Adam x judgement came upon all men to condemnation, 
even so faj the rightcoiune** of one (Christ) thcffee-gtft came upon all men to justification of lift. 
—Roman*, v. 18. 

[As it is said also in Job] Deliver him from going down into the ph; I hava found a rantoap~ 
Job, xxxiii. 34. 



12 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

The redemption effected by this outward offer- 
ing would only, according to the true analogy of 
things, be a redemption of the outward bodies. 
For as, under the legal dispensation, there were 
many legal institutes, that were binding upon the 
people of Israel, and upon no other people; and a 
breach of these produced legal crimes, to which 
penalties were attached, and those inflicted on 
the bodies of the Israelites — Now I consider that 
the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, on the out- 
ward cross, applied only, as a matter of redemp- 
tion, to the Israelites, redeeming them from the 
curse of that covenant, and the penalties attend- 
ant on every breach thereof. And this outward 
redemption was the top stone of that figurative 
dispensation, as by it that dispensation, with all 
its legal rites, and ceremonies, was abolished and 
done away. 

Thence the Jews would no longer be guilty 
of any of those legal crimes, as the law that en- 
joined those legal rites was dead, and done away, 
by the outward death of their Messiah. And this 
outward redemption of the outward bodies of the 
Israelites, from the curses of their outward law, 



THE SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH. IS 



(" Redemption of outward bodies.") 

[Where read we of a redemption of outward bodies, except in 
this heterodox Epistle? On the contrary are we not told by St. 

Paul?] 

If Christ be in yon the body is dead, became of tin; bat the spirit is life, because of righteousness. 

(And again that) Christ shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious 
body, according to the working of his mighty power, whereby he if able to subdue all things to 
.... — «. « u ^ 9rinthkm9 xy. 51, jg. god fhiUpums, in. 21. 



(" The offering of the body of Jesus Christ ap- 
" plied only, as matter of redemption, to the Isra- 
" elites.") 

[What saith the Apostle John to this point, himself a Hebrew?] 

And he is the propitiation for our sins,and not for our* only; but for the sins of the whole world; 
—1 John, u. 2. 

Behold my Servant whom I uphold, mine Elect, hi whom my Soul delighteth. I have put my 
Spirit upon him. He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.— Isaiah, xlii. 

The desire of all Nations shall come, sfad I will fill this House (viz. the Temple of Jerusalem) 
with glory. The glory of this latter House shall be greater than that of the former.— Haggai, iu 
7,9. 

[Now this can only be intended spiritually, in reference to the 
glorious appearance of Christ therein: for the Second Temple (See 
Ezra, iii. 12,) was far inferior, in splendour, and magnificence, 
to that which was built by Solomon.] 

("The top stone of that figurative dispensa- 
tion.") 

And he shall be for a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, to both the Houses of Israel And 
many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.— Isaiah, 
vili. 14, 15. 

I say then, hath God cast away his People? Have they stumbled that they should fall.' God for- 
bid! But rather, through their fall Salvation is come unto the Gentiles.— Romans, xi. 1, 11. 



("Their Messiah.") 

[Is he the God of the Jews only? And not also of the Gentiles? 
Yes, of the Gentiles also, says the Apostle. — Romans, iii. 25.] 

The Gentiles shall see thy righteousness*— Isaiah, hii. 2. 

He shall speak peace unto the Heathen.— Zachariah, ix. 10. 

I behekl and lo a great number, which no man could number, of all Nations and Kindreds, and 
People and Tongues, stood before the Throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and 
palms in their hands. And cried with a loud voice, saying Salvation to our God, which sitteth 
upon the Throne, ami unto the bomb.— Revelations, vii. 9, JO. 

All Flesh shall see the salvation of God.— LuJfar, iii. 0. 

M Nations shall call him blessed.- PNfm ball. 17. 



14 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

is a complete figure of the inward redemption of 
the soul from sin, by the life, or spiritual blood, of 
Christ, inwardly sprinkling our consciences, and 
enabling us to die to sin, as he died for sin, by 
which we are redeemed from dead works to serve 
the living God in newness of life, which makes 
the true Christian. 

Why shouldst thou think it cruel, or painful, 
that God sent his son into the world; and, when 
in the world, permitted him to suffer death, by 
the hands of wicked men, when history informs 
us that many thousands of righteous men, and 
women, have, by the permission of the Almighty, 
been persecuted to death, by wicked men. Yet 
nevertheless we do not believe that God sent any 
of these into the world purposely to suffer death, 
in the cruel way they did, by the cruel power of 
the wicked. Neither do I believe that God sent 
Jesus Christ into the world, purposely to suffer 
death, in the way he did, any more than all them. 

For I do not believe that God created any ra- 
tional being, and sent him into the world to suf- 
fer death for other men, because they were wicked, 
and he was righteous. But that it was the right- 
eousness of all these, that aggravated the wicked. 



THB SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH. 15 

(" Redemption from sin.") 



[How wrought according to the Scriptures— no less without us 
by the meritorious (because voluntary) sufferings, and vicarious 
death of Christ, than within us, by the blood of sprinkling, which 
purifieth from dead works, to serve the living God, in newness of 
life.] 

As Metes fitted up the Serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man befitted up.— 
John/ul 14. 

a And rhis (said Christ] is the will of him that sent me, that everyone that seeth the Son, and be- 
heveth on him, may hare everlasting life, and I will raise him np at the last day.— AH, vi. 40. 

( He took part of flesh and blood that he might destroy him that hath the power of death.— Heb. 
n. 14. 

There it, therefore, now no condemnaton to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not af- 
ter the flesh bat after the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath made me 
tree from the law of sin and death.— Said Paul to the Roman*, viii. 2, 3. 



(" Jesus Christ not sent into the world purpose- 
" ly to suffer death for other men, because they 
" were wicked and he was righteous.") 

For, of a truth, against thy holy child Jesus, whom than hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius 
Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people oft Israel, were gathered together, for to do, whatsoever 
thy hand, and thy eounsel, determined before to be done.— Act*, br. 27, 28. 

And one of them named Caiaphas, beinr the High Priest that same vear, said unio them, Te 
know nothing at all nor consider, that it is expedient for us that one Man should die for the Peo- 
ple, And that the whole Na3on perish not. This spake he, not of himself, but being High Priest 
that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that Nation; and not for that Nation only, but 
that also be should jotter together in one the Children of God that were scattered abroad.-VoAn, 
xi. 49, SO, 51, 52. 

Jesus answered them saying, the boor is eome, that the Son of Man should be glorified. Verily 
verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat mil into the ground, and die, it abidelh alone; but, 
if it die, it bringetn forth mneh fruit.— Ibid, xii. 23, 24. 

Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the Dead.— Ibid, xxiv. 46. 

Now is my Soul troubled (said Christ, in his agony) And what shall I say? Father save me from 
this hour? but for thi* caiue came I unto this hour.— Ibid, xii- 27. 

And I, if I be hfted up from the earth, will draw all Men unto me. This he said signifying what 
death be should die.— Ibid, v. 32, 33, 

(Thus) In due time Chnst died for the ungodly.— Roman*, v. 6. 

For Christ also hath onee luftered for sins, the Just for the tfhyuit, that he might bring as to 
God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit— 1 .Peter, Hi. 18. 

That he by the grace of God should taste death for every Man*— JJe*rfs>*,ii.o. 



16 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

■ 

and was the procuring cause of their hatred and 
vengeance toward them, when they cruelly per- 
secuted them to death. 

But their sufferings were entirely opposite to, 
and inconsistent with, the purpose and will of God. 
For if it was not the perpetrators of these dreadful 
crimes, and most atrocious deeds, would alt stand- 
justified in his sight. 

Hence we clearly see that all those kinds of 
doctrines that naturally, and necessarily, impeach 
the all-good and all-gracious Jehovah, with appa- 
rent cruelty, and incorrectness, in his purposes, 
and designs, concerning his rational creation, are 
founded on and have their origin in that false and 
inconsistent doctrine of Predestination and Elec- 
tion; which ought to be exploded by every ration- 
al being, as it destroys all the nobility and excel- 
lency of God's rational creation; and places them 
entirely below the poorest animals on earth. 

I believe that the Almighty Creator of the Uni- 
verse, never had but one sole purpose and design, 
in creating man, and placing him on this terra- 
queous globe; and that was to do his will, and 
thereby to continue in a state of happy union and 
communion with him, through the spirit And 



THE SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH. 17 



("The sufferings of the righteous (not excepting 
" those of Jesus Christ) entirely opposite to, and 
" inconsistent with, the purpose and will of God. 
" For if it was not, $c.") 

O Fools, and ilow of heart to believe ah that thflProphets have written! Ought not Christ to 
tve suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?— Luke, xxiv. 25, 26. 

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience, by the things which he suffered. And being 
ade perfect (through suffering) be became the author of eternal salvation, onto all them that 



kavesui 



made 

obey him.— Hebrews^ r. 8, 9. 



(" If it was not so the perpetrators of these 
" crimes would stand justified in his sight") 

What if God willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured, with mueh long 
suffering, the vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction (no doubt by their own misdeeds.)— /toman*. 
ix.22. 

Then said Jesus Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.— Luke* xviti. 34. 



("Predestination and Election.") 

([What Gospel Election and Predestination is; and in whom it 
stands*, according to the will of the Father; because, said the Apos- 
tle, God hath from the beginning chosen us to salvation through 
sanctijication of the spirit and belief of the Truth.'] — See 2 Thess. 
ii. 3.] 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ according as he had chosen us In him, 
before the foundation of the world; that we should be holy, and without blame, before him. In love. 
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of Children, by Jesus Christ. To die praise of the gtorv 
of his grace, wherein be has made us accepted in the Moved,— Ephcsians, iii. 4, 5, 6. 

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteous- 
ness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.— Remans, Ui. 30. 

Whom God did foreknow he also iB& predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that 
he might be thejtnt born among many Brethren.— Ibid, viii. 39. 

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He saith not unto Seeds, as of many, 
bat as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ, "Galatians, iii- V>. 



V 



18 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

did so order and arrange all things here on earth, 
in his wisdom and goodness, as to constitute a 
state of probation to man, during his militant 
state, or while his immortal soul continued in 
connexion with these mortal bodies; which were 
not to continue any longer in existence, than 
during the time of thi^rohationary scene; which 
was necessary to give the rational intelligent area- 
tare Man a fit opportunity to rise above that inno- 
cent state in which he was created, to the exalted 
state of virtue and glory, by a just and righteous 
improvement of the liberty and power conferred 
upon him by his gracious Creator, for that pur- 
pose, and that purpose only, agreeably to the in- 
struction of Divine Wisdom. 

Hence we conclude that God never sent his Son 
Jesus Christ, nor any of his rational creation, 
purposely into the world to suffer death by cruel 
men; but only, in his free and voluntary choice, 
to attend to, and do his holy will, in all things; 
and thereby glorify and enjoy him. Which all 
agree to be the chief end and design of man's 
creation. 

Wherefore all the persecutions, and cruel 
deaths, that have transpired in the world, among 



THE SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH, 19 



(" This probationary scene fitted (according to 
iQ E. H.) to give opportunity to the rational man, 
" to rise above that innocent state in which he was 
; ' created, to an exalted state of virtue and glory. ") 

QWhat says the great Apostle to this paradoxical position?] 

Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by 
the washing of regeneration, and the renewing* of the Holy Ghat 1 .— Epistle to 7vtts,u\. 5. 

For if righteousness came by the Law (and if not by the law of Muses, how much lets by the law of 
Nature?) then Christ is dead in vain [or as Thomson lias it, hath indeed died to no purpose.]— -Ga- 
latians,\i.2i. 

Without faith (which it elsewhere said to be the substance of things hoped for—the evidence ofthingt 
not seen) it is impossible to please God.— Hebrews, ». A. 



(" God never sent his son Jesus Christ purpose- 
ly into the world to suffer death.") 

[What says Daniel, one of the Jewish prophets, to this point/] 

Seventy weeks (said Daniel during the Babylonish Captivity, viz. about six hundred year* before 
the coming of Christ in the flesh) Seventy weeks (viz. prophetical weeks or 490 yean) are determin- 
ed upon thy People, and upon the Holy City, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sini, 
and to make rcconciUationfor iniquity; and to bring in everlasting righteousness} *nd to anoint the 
Most Holy. And after three score and two weeks shall the Messiah be cut off, but nmtfor himself. 
And the People of the Prince that shall come shall destroy the City, and the Bmemary [a predic- 
tion that was literally fulfilled when Titus sacked Jerusalem^ in the reign of the Roman Emperor Ves- 
pasian, utterly destroyingthc outward Temple, and abolishing the sacrifices of the Law.] As Christ 
had said should be, about forty years before U came to pass.]— See Daniel, i&. 24,35, 36, and Matthew, 
xxiv. 3. 

Then (said Christ himself) Lo I come to do thy will, O God— Heb. x. 9. 

By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering qfthe body qf Jesus Christ, once for all*- 
For by one offering he hath perfected fix ever them that are sanctified.— 76r7£ 14. 



,■* 



20 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

mankind; not only the persecution and crucifixion 
of Jesus Christ; but also all the sufferings and 
martyrdoms committed by cruel men, have had 
their rise and spring from man's unjust and un- 
righteous use of his liberty and power, conferred 
upon him only to do his Maker's will, in all things. 
But the sequel, as well as the very reason of 
things, clearly shews, that man, in his probation- 
ary state, was possessed of a power and liberty 
(uncontrolled by any other power) to do his Ma- 
ker's will, by his instruction and aid, which was 
freely offered to his acceptance, or not to do it, 
if he chose to comply with the temptation. As 
he had communicated to him by his Maker a 
power of entire free choice. For if this was not 
the case he could never be virtuous or wicked, as 
all virtue consists in his choosing the good, and 
all sin in his choosing the evil, independent of 
any other cause, but his own choice. 



THE SCRIPTURES OF TRITH. *l 

("All the suffering and martyrdoms of Hie 
"just have had their rise and spring from man's 
"unrighteous use of his liberty.") 

[What say the Scriptures as to the afflictions of the righteous? 
Do they appear to be considered as fortuitous vrcnts? or are thus? 
sufferings, when they occur, ami are patiently submitted to, lightly 
esteemed by the spirit?] 

Affliction eometh not forth of the dart, neither doth trouble s|>riii£ out of the ground. Man it 
born unto trouble, as the sparks fir uprnnl- >/<*» > . <\ ". 
Precious in the sight of the Lord* is the demtit of his Saint*,— Pmtm cwi. i«. 



The trial of yourfaiih it much more precious than [that] of gold which perlshcth.— 1 rVf. i. 7.. 

He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence, and precious shall their blooil beta his 
uAV-Psaim IzsiL 14. 

Mow no chastening; seemeth for the present to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, aftmrtrd, 
it yiddeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness, to them that are exercised thereby.— Hdbrwr, xU. 

(" Man, in his probationary state, was possess- 
" ed of a power and a liberty to do his Maker's 
" will.") 

[If this be predicated of Adam, before he was ejected from Para- 
dise it is not disputed or denied (for it is written God made man 
upright) but if it be meant to convey an idea that the fallen-race 
of Adam now come into the world, in a state of freedom, or power 
to choose good, and reject evil, (unaided by that grace and truth 
which came by Jesus Christ) Let that experienced Apostle St. 
Paul (who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutory and inju- 
rious) expound the truth of God, as it is in Jesus.] 

The natural man reeeireth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness uutn 
him; neither can he know them, because they are sptniually discerned.— 1 Corinthians* iL M. 

O wretched Man that I am (exclaimed the tame Apo*t#, under a huniNitij? *ensr of the infirmity 
of nature, and hi* own Inability, at a Man* for any good -word, or work J O wretched Man that 1 am. 
Who shall deliver me from the body of this death. For when I would dogood, enl ii present who 
me.— Roman*, viL 94, and Si. 

By graceare ye saved, throughJaiffuoMd that nor ofyovrtches, it n the gift of God.— JfyA. Ii. t. 

Their righteousness it of me, saith the Lord.— /nmm, l, iv. 17. 

The Scripture hath concluded att under tin, that the promise by faith ofjetus Chriit might be 
given to them that betievc—Galatian*. iii. 28. 

[And to this purpose, it is said] Being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to estab- 
lish their own righteousness Ctftey] have not submitted themselves unto (ho righteoosjiess of God. 
•"Romans, x. 3. 



i 

J 



22 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

And no doubt had the Israelites all been faith- 
ful to that outward covenant, given them through 
Moses, they would all have been prepared to re- 
ceive their Messiah in the way of his coming, as 
did those who believed on him. And by which 
the end of his coming would have been much more 
fuUy answered. As all Israel then, like the disci- 
ples of Jesus Christ, would as willingly as they, 
have passed from the Old, and entered cheerfully 
into the New Dispensation. 

Hence no suffering, no crucifixion, no death of 
Jesus Christ, would have taken place; but when 
his ministry on earth was finished, by fulfilling 
the law, and abolishing that outward covenant, 
and turning the minds of the people to the law 
written in the heart, by a life of perfect righteous- 
ness and self denial, he had introduced his disci- 



THE SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH. 23 

(" Had the Israelites all been faithful they would 
" have received their Messiah; and the end of his 
" coming would have been more fully answered.") 

[What say the inspired prophets as to the end of his coming, 
who foresaw and predicted the same many hundred years before 
it actually took placer] • 

It is a light thin; that that shouldst be my tenant to raise up the Tribes of Jacob, and to restore 
the preserved of Israel, Iwulaho give thee for a light fs rite Genf tier, that thou mayest be mysaha- 

"■.— Isaiah,: " 



tien unto the end of the earth.— Isaiah,x\\x. 6. 

I will declare the decree, the Lord hath said onto me, Thou art my Son, This day have I begot- 
ten thee. Ask of me and I shaD gWetheelfe Heathen for thine inheritance, andtAe uttermost part* 
of the earth for thy possession.— Psalm ii. 7, 8. 

[So likewise said good old Simeon when the child Jesus was 
presented in the temple by Mary his mother.] 

Lord now lettest thou thy Servant depart in peace. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 
which thou hast prepared before the face of all People, A light to enlighten the Gentile*, and the 
glory of thy People Israel.— Luke, n. 29, 30, 31, 32. 

("The end of his coming would have been 
" much more fully answered,") 

W] What then would have become of the resurrection of the dead? 
ould Christ, in that case, have been empowered, by the Father, 
to draw all men after him? What say the Scriptures of this mat- 
ter, so deeply interesting to us all?'] 

Siuee by Man came death, by Man eame also the Resurrection of the Dead. For as in Adam all 
die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every Man in his own order, Christ the first fruits, 
afterward they that are Christ's, at his coming— 1 Corinthians, xv. 21, 32, 23. 

For, saRh the Apostle. I delivered unto you first of all ihat which I also received, that Christ died 
for our sins, according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, And that he rose again the third 
day.'— Ibid. v. 3, 4. 

And so it is written, the first. Man Adam was made a living Soul, the last Adam was made a 
quickening Spirit.— The first Man is of the earth, earthy; the Second Man is the Lord from Heaven. 
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the Heavenly. For 
because he tiveth we hve also.— Ibid, v. 45. 47, and 49. 

He was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the Dead*— Romans, 
i.4. 

("No suffering, no crucifixion, no death of 
"Jesus Christ, would have taken place; and he 
"would, like Enoch and Elijah, have been trans- 
lated, without suffering the pains of death.") 

[What do the Scriptures indicate of the Divine purpose, in this 
respect?] 

He is the Lamb that was shun from the foundation of the world.— See Rev. v. xii. and xiii. 8. 

Such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless undented. Separate from Sinners, and 
made higher than the Heavens; who needeth not daily to offer up sacrifices [first] for his own lint, 
and then for the People's; for this he did once, when be offered up himself.— Hebrews, vii. 26. 2: 



24 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

pies into the gospel, he would, like Enoch and 
Elijah, have been translated, without suffering the 
pains of death. 

But as divine wisdom foresaw, that his people 
Israel would revolt from his commandments, and 
rebel against his law; and become cruel and hard 
hearted; so likewise he foresaw that the wicked 
among them would cruelly persecute and slay 
many of the righteous, and his son Jesus Christ 
among the rest. Therefore he inspired many of 
his servants to testify of these things among them, 
before they came to pass, as a warning and cau- 
tion, that so those who were seeking after the 
right way might be preserved from taking any 
part therein. While those who wilfully hardened 
their hearts against reproof might suffer the pen- 
alties resulting from their crimes, which they had 
committed in their own free choice, contrary to 
the counsel and will of their Creator. 



THE SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH. £;> 

(" Would have been translated like Enoch and 
"Elijah.") 



ITnto which of the angris ssiiO^ at asythne v *rtr* sett t* E*r\ #r K*«V Thorn art my Sot* 
This day have I ht guum thee.— **•¥»*. v X. 

And when he bnageth the Fans begotten Into the WorU he smith, and feet all the Anjctbof ikal 
worship him. — /Bid t. & 



[The following detached passages from I he Prophets foreshow, 
with astonishing clearness and precision, the humiliation of the 
Messiah, when lie fulfilled the law, by which retribution wa* ex- 
acted, bearing, in his own person, the offence of sin. and suffering 
as he was man the punishment of t ran agression, when he oftereil 
up himself, as a lamb without blemish, to take awav the sins of 
the world. Being, at the same time, as he was Ga& % to triumph 
over death, hell, and the grave, by rising again, on the third day, 
as had been prefigured by the sign of the prophet Jonah: and as- 
cending into heaven, in the presence of his aisciples: after being 
seen oT them during forty days, and speaking of the things per- 
taining to the kingdom of "God" — See Jicts, i. 3.] 

He is despised said rejected of Men: i Man of sorrows, aod acquainted with grief. And we hid 
as it were our flux* from him. He was despised, and we esteemed aim not. Sorely he hath borne 
our griefs,and earned oar sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 
But he was wounded for our tmnsjrresskms. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement 
of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep hare pone astray, 
and the Lord hath laid on hiratbe iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet 
he opened not his mouth. He n brought as a Lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her 
shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.— /jetoA, tin. 3 to 7. 

SThe following minute circumstances were predicted in the 
Testament, and literally fulfilled in the New, as is too well 
known to need the usual references to the latter.] 

Rejoice greatly O Daughter of Zion! Shout O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold thy King eomcth 
unto thee. He is just and baring saltation, lowly, and riding upon an ass, and a colt the foal of 
an ass.— Zaehariah\ ix. 9. 

To him whom man despiseth. to him whom the Nation ahhfrreth; kings shall see and arise; Prin- 
ces also shall worship.— Isaiah, xlix, 7. 

They weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver, a goodly price that I was prised at of them.— 
Am*s % ti. 6. 

I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the Potter in the House of the Lonl— Zacha' 
riah\ xi, 13. 

They shall smite the Judge of Israel, with a rod, upon the cheek.— AffrtiA, v. rt. 

I gave my back to the Smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not my 
face from shame, and spitting.— Isaiah, 1. 6. 

They parted my garments among them, and east lots upon my vesture.— Psalm xxii. IS. 

They pierced my hands and my feet— JWrf. v. Iff. 

'1 liey gave me gall for my meat, and in my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.— Psalm Iii\. 
21. 

Awake O sword against my Shepherd, and against the Man % that is tnv Fellow, with the I.nnl of 
Hosts. Smite the Shepherd and the Sheep shall be scattered.— Zachariah, xiii. 

When he sliall be judged let him be condemned.— Psalm cxix. 7. 

He was numbered with Transgressors.— Isaiah, liii. 18- 

All things [said Christ of himself 1 must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law nf Mu«>». 
and in die Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.— Lute, xxiv. 44. 

For the things that arc written, concerning me, have an end.— Ibid, xxii. '•". 



B 



26 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

The doctrine of the Trinity, as held by many 

, professing Christians, J also consider a weak and 

vulgar error. That of three distinct persons in 

one God. And that each of these persons is whole 

God* as I think is inserted in some of their con- 

■ 

fessions of faith. As I believe there can not be 
a greater absurdity than to apply personality to 
God, in any right sense of the word. As perso- 
nality implies locality, which signifies limited to 
place, which would be very impious to say of the 
infinite Jehovah. 

It is also a doctrine unwarranted by Scripture, 
as the word trinity is not to be found in the Bible. 
For although the Apostle is made to say, agree- 
ably to our present translation, that there are 
three that bear record in Heaven, yet he assures 
us that these three are but one. And we have 
no certainty, that they have given us the Apos- 
tle's sense clearly, as we have no reason to be- 
lieve the translators were inspired men. For they 

tell us that inspiration has ceased. 

« 

But admitting the translation to be correct, yet 
it carries with it no clear evidence of any such 

*"VervGod." 



f. 



the ^rs!?mffi5 or rRrnt. *; 

(-The doccrine 01 die Trinir.. I *l*o consuUu 
" a weak and vulvar enw." N 




WJp haA aesra tlw* ***•> i i cvmOT »K- »*.> fwafcMks.w 4 .he .-<««, » a' vV ,•».■■<." w \*. 
h umu. as? vfesc » i» 5cn « ja-nw . *? riw* .-xts*. r; ■.-.'— J 1 *^**' •*. ,, \\\ •. 

|y ^f 1 ? ^ ww»i wa* ascsna* •: t-c -.-•*. . : n. ft*a«?taac *&«£ «t* >.* Oww'.mcx »V. wo «v 
c«»V Am Jt*« Vmbc sc: -r* n*»c *r ;>* * n-'— 1 „• I «* v*- He*. Vxw. « **A. %c *•■» ■■ V »'»**i 
of the fcv. Ask Ab^ Ur- :..- »ir l-n.- =i« v*:** t* Ht-.' . v. n.v- .*' *\v . \ •. ■ . va ^ < »■ 
I knew ttjc . .-£ am x ? R\wn«ch«i,»c^; W kfci.. ».»**.- a; ;W Sa... 1 ,".*» ujx^s ih*' 



[Confirmar.on ir.d eIur : .dA:u>i: of the slv^o pa$*A£v>» from (ho 
New Testame-.n/ 



God ancuati .'#fau ,rf Xasartca w^fc -W S.vS ^fc.-»: *r*. : . • *.> yon.r — fc'y \. M 
I will pray ike Fa?**? jati Chrstia w"^ Sf*V^r i* a^ftovu w;o ii*^»r:i' ax*\ v *k*"- $\rc 
too eitc.v m-Sr-r- :ba: be rnay siwx »*■> v.-^. :*.-■ :»i-r > »w. -.^ Sjvn; .<• lvw»\ «K»n the 
World cannoe reccrrt. because i: *x:i ► ■..-. r.-:. :-« .Out kocucOi r.U'.v. tei ,v ktv* h:r.i. Aw he 
riwelkta in you. and shall be m iw^-%^i%. u» .ir,::, 



{" It is also a doctrine unwarranted by Scrip, 
"ture.") 

[Yet Paul said to the Corinthian?:] 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Innrof Oc*L «nJ the communitMiof tho ItsU i<ho<i. 
be with you all, ineo^2 Epiit*. ehap. xiii. but nw.' 

("The word trinitv is not to be found in the 
"Bible.") 

[Granted; but what do the Scriptures say respecting the nuiry 
of the God-headr Do they not speak of it as a trinity in unity? | 

Go ye therefore and teach all natiom baptUine; them in [or inti»] the name ol'ilir bather niul of 
the Son and of the Holy Ghotu—Matth. wriiL lv». 

/ will pr»j the Fatter (aaid Christ) and he shall give you another Comforter, or 11 r V Spirit *f 
Truth.— John, sir. 16,17. 

[In tJie same Eternal Spirit are here expressly reeogiii/.od — 
the. Fath e r — th e Son — a nd f h e Holy Gh ost — ii istiniM — not st •/;« ratf 
—for these three are one."] 

•The disputed text in the 1 Kpiitle of John, M There ure three that Iwar rretml 111 htuvrn, iln< 
Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and thcae three an> nnr," hi» not lirrii lieu- iiiiuImI, nr n- 
lied on, it being now generally allowed to hare been InterpoluUil in the Ijiiin lliNe*iiiivii>r.>*daik 
period of the Church, viz. about the tenth century: yet there \% rca«»n to think lliai thr«<- mmli 
might have been a restoration from an earlier copy, since Trrtulliau,* utu^if the unrii'iit I iiiln 1 1, 
alluded to it, as to a text then extant; and St. Cyprkn,t who livetl in the same age, reH-n in ii, m 
two places. 

It u remarkable that neither the learned Barrlay nor C torgr I'm nor liwr frninttou mnkf any 
scrapie of adopting this text and consequently of avowing this belief at an article ofthrir laiih»hi 
which the ceiehratra controvenialist Irilliam J*rnn expressly agn^s with them, tin* tlirlr n*«iM«r- 
the works or more readily their professions of faith at exhibited in a treatUe 11 pun ihr true I'ttrli- 
tian doctrine lately pubhuied by the Tract Society of Philadelphia. 

* Tertulnan Prax. e. %5, 

t Cyprian de Unitat. Kcclcs. $ 5. p. 77, and KpVst. t\ ail Julwian, y ' u>. 



)28 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

doctrine. As we ought to receive all written 
testimonials, according to their most easy and 
rational sense, and especially so when they in any 
degree contradict other more clear and plain tes- 
timonies of as high, or higher, origin. 

There was nothing more clearly impressed upon 
the Israelites, by their great lawgiver ■, than to ao 
knowledge but one God. And although they often 
asserted that the Spirit of the Lord came to or 
was upon them, yet they manifest no idea of any 
divisibility, or distinction of persons between God 
and his Spirit. 

But wherever the Holy Spirit of God is there 
is God, and where God is, there is the Holy Spi- 
rit, or Holy Ghost, which are one, as the terms 






THE SCRIPTURES OF TRITII. «\) 



(" Although the Israelites often asserted that 
"the Spirit of the Lord icas upon them, yet they 
" manifest no idea of any divisibility* or distinc- 
"tion of persons, between God and his Spirit") 

[What sav the inspired penmen of the Old Testament, in par- 
ticular, touching the foreknowledge, under the law, of the Saviour 
and Redeemer, that was to be made manifest unto Israel, when 
the fulness of time should be comer In the faith or earnest ex- 
pectation of which the Jew9, though now scattered abroad among 
all nations, still await the coming; of the Messiah, as a temporal 
prince, or successor promised to David their king, by the mouth 
of God himself, and referred to by all their prophets, in their suc- 
cessive generations.] 

Then thou spakest hi vision to thy Holy One and saidst I have laid help upon one that is mighty; 
I have exalted one chosen out of the People.— Pjahn txxxix. IV. 

And thou Bethlehem Hphratah thonsjhthou he little among the thousand* of Judah, yrt out of 
thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have hern from 
of old, from everlasting.— AftcoA, v. 2. 

The Lord thy God (said Moses in the WiklcruessO will raise up unto thee a Prophet, from thv 
midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me. unto him ye shall hearken.— Deuteronotny % xviil. 15. 

And it shall eome to pass that every soul which will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed 
from among the People.— Actt* in. 23. • 



30 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

are synonymous. For God is a Spirit, and noth- 
ing but Spirit. And when this Spirit, or God, acts 
or operates upon the spirit of man, in his first ope- 
rations he quickens and enlightens man's spirit, 
and in this operation he bears record of his own 
life in the soul of man, as the Holy Spirit, or Holy 
Ghost. And, as the spirit of man yields to and sub- 
mits to his operation, there is a birth of God brought 
forth in the spirit of man, and by which he now 
bears record of his own life in the soul as father; 
and this birth of God in the soul being begotten by 
God, unites in record, or witness, in unity with 
God as son; and still it is only God, working all 
in all in the soul, agreeably to his will and plea- 
sure. And which will agree with the doctrine of 
the Apostle, when he says, that " it is God that 
" worketh in us, both to will and to do of his own 
6 *good pleasure." And again, "for as many as 
" are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons 
" of God." 

As to the revelation of John, it was some of 
that Apostle's last writing, and at a time when 
he was advanced in deep experience; and we find 
that the most, deep and mysterious writings of the 
Prophets and Apostles are often couched in alle- 



THE SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH. 31 

(" God is a spirit, and nothing but spirit And 
when this spirit, or God, acts or operates upon 
the spirit of man, in his first operations he 
quickens and enlightens man's spirit, and in this 
operation he bears record of his own life in the 
soul of man, as the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost. 
And as the spirit of man yields to and submits 
to his operation there is a birth of God brought 
forth in the spirit of man, and by which he now 
bears record of his own life in the soul as Fa- 
ther, and this birth of God in the soul being be- 
gotten by God, unites in record or witness, in 
unity with God as Son, and still it is only God 
working, all in all, in the soul, agreeably to his 
will and pleasure.") 

[What say the Scriptures as to this mysterious operation of 
he Spirit of God in the soul of man: are they not much more 
clear, and far more precise, than this perplexed exposition of them? 
Art thou a Master in Israel, and knowest not these things?]] 

No dud knoweth who the Son is, but the Father, and who the Father ii but the Son, and he to 
whom the Son will reveal him.— Luke. x. 33. 

Verily, verily, I say unto thee (said Christ to Nieodemus) except a man be born again, he cannot 
see the kingdom of God, (John, hi. 3.) That which is born of the flesh ii flesh, and that which if 
bom of the Spirit b spirit, (ft) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou nearest the sound 
thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometb, nor whither it goeth. So is £it with] every one that 
u born of the Spirit, (8.) 

[And Panl said to the Romans] the Spirit also helpeth our uiflirnkies; for we know not what we 
should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us.— Roman*, viii. 26. 

[That this new birth in the soul of man, through the Divine 
Spirit, was to be operatively experienced, even under the Law, is 
clear from the prayer of David, in the li. Psalm:]] 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, ami revere t right spirit within w. 



■ ■-...•. 
■%■" ■ - 



32 A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 

gorical similies, and similitudes. Therefore it 
requires us to come to that same experience 
rightly to comprehend, and to understand them. 
And hence, when I meet with parts or passages 
of Scripture, that I do not understand, I leave 
them, until I may arrive at a state of deeper ex- 
perience. By which means I have come clearly 
to comprehend and understand, some things that 
at a previous time seemed mysterious to me. 

And this I have no doubt will be thy case in 
what Paul says of women's keeping silence in the 
churches, as also in some other respects. For I 
apprehend if Paul hath said what we find record- 
ed in 1 Corinthians, xiv. 34, 35, and Timothy, ii. 
11, IS, that he had no allusion at all to their 
preaching or prophecying in them. And if he had, 
we have no right, nor reason at all, to admit it as 
sound doctrine, as it contradicts a number more 
of his own doctrines, on that point, (as also the 
general testimonies of Scripture,) which are much 
more rational, clear, and plain. As may be seen 
in his Epistle to the Romans, xiv. ch. Philipians, 
iv. 3. l Corinthians, xL 5 to 13. And Paul as- 
sures us that male and female are both one in 



A DOCTRINAL EPISTLE. 33 

Christ That is when they become real Christians, 
of whom Christ is the head. 

Also under the law there were prophetesses, 
as well as prophets, and the diffusion of the spi- 
rit, in the latter day, as prophecied by Joel, was 
equally on sons and on daughters, and servants 
and handmaids. And to believe otherwise is irra- 
tional, and inconsistent with the Divine attributes; 
and would impeach the Almighty with partiality 
and injustice to one half of his rational creation. 
Therefore, in my belief, it would be wrong to ad- 
mit it, although asserted in the most plain and 
positive manner, by men or angels. 



CONCLUSION. 



It was originally designed, or intended, to have 
accompanied this exhibition of the chain of Scripture 
history, or rather of the history of mankind, by reve- 
lation and tradition, from Adam to Moses, and by 
prophecy from Moses to Christ (for to him give all 
the Prophets witness) with the opinions of competent 
judges as to the authenticity of the Sacred Writings, 
and their credibility as historical records. And am- 
ple collections were accordingly made to have con- 
firmed the written word, by the testimony, or pro- 
fession of faith and credence of wise and good men, in 
modern times; that is to say since the reformation from 
the apostacy (that so soon succeeded the apostolic age, 
and the internal revelation of which in their own 
hearts its first faithful professors, the noble army of 
martyrs, were fain to seal with their blood) but this in- 
tention has been given up, on finding that it would run 
into too great length for any thing short of an ample 
appendix. Yet some illustrious testimonies to Divine 
truth may not be here omitted, for example, Grotius, 
or De Groot, the learned Hollander who wrote an 
elaborate commentary on the Scriptures. Sir Isaac 
Newton, the principal luminary of human science, 
who left behind him a discourse to prove that the 
prophecy of Daniel's weeks was an express prediction 



( 36) 

of the coming of the Messiah} and that it was fulfilled 
in Jesus Christ. Robert Boyle, who was an exact 
searcher into the works of nature and Providence, 
and who saw atheism and infidelity beginning to 
show themselves in the voluptuous court of Charles 
II. This profound philosopher never suspected the 
scripture account of the supernatural conception and 
immaculate birth, or introduction into the world, of 
the son and sent of God; and he wrote a treatise ex- 
pressly to answer all the objections which profane 
and irreligious persons have made against it, to coun- 
tenance their unbelief. John Locke, this penetrating 
casuist, the author of the famous essay on the human 
understanding, published a discourse on purpose to 
demonstrate the reasonableness of believing Jesus to 
be the promised Messiah; and in a judicious commen- 
tary upon the Epistles of St. Paul, he exhorts all 
Christians " to betake themselves, in earnest, to the 
" study of the way to salvation pointed out in those 
" holy writings, wherein God has revealed it from 
" Heaven, and proposed it to the world." The great 
Chief Justice Hale, in a treatise entitled, ' Of the 
chief End of Man,' expresses himself so fully, and 
with so much judicial precision as well as elaborate 
elucidation, that the reader must be referred for his 
ojnnion to the subjoined note, as justice can not be 
done to its amplitude in this concise recital* Sir 

•Sir Matthew Hale, in his book called Contemplations Moral and Divine, treats of the Scriptures 
of both Testaments, in the following no less Incid than logical manner, as if delivered from the 
seat of'jiHl^iiient, or in the judicial character, to which he was so bright an ornament. 

" What thus*: Scriptures are. 1. They are the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament* 
''excluding the Ii<»oks commonly call'd Aftocrijpka. These were written hi several Ages bv holy 
'■ Men inspir'd b} the Spirit of God, 2 Tim. 3. 16. Some Parts thereof, as the five Books of Mutes* 
** above three thousand five handled Years since; and that of the New Testament above one thou- 
" sand six hundred Yi a is since. And Almigfity Cod, who has had a most special Care of the evcr- 
*' lasting Good of. Mankind, hath, by u wonderful Providence, hitherto preserved them uncorrupterf, 
"and hutli disperse" them eve.- all Nations in their several Languages; that as the common Salva- 
k< tion concern'd all Men. so the Means of ai taming it might be likewise common to all Men. 

" :\ Win the divine Providence hat ordered U to be put int§ Writing. It is true, in the first Age* 



(37) 

William Jones, the orientalist, one of the judges of 
the supreme court of judicature in Bengal, confess- 
edly one of the first philosophers of the present age, 
in one of his latest annual Discourses before the 
Asiatic Society, is thought to have done more to 
give validity to the Mosaic account of the Creation, 



* of the World, till the Time of X am* , which was near three thousand fire hundred Tears, the Will 
"of God was not put into Writing, but was deliver'd over by Word of Mouth from Father to Son. 
"And this was the Direction that Men had to know and to obey God. Because in those ancient 

* Ages of the World Men liv'd long: For Adam, the first Man, liv'd above twenty Years after Me- 
"thusalem, the eighth from Adarn^ was born; and Methusalem lived almost an hundred after Sent 
"was born; and San lived above sixty Years after Isaac was born. So that in these three Men, 
" Adam, Methusalem, and San, all the Truths of God, for above two thousand Years, were pre* 
" served and delivered over. 

u But when after the Ages of Men were shorter, and when the Church of God grew to be Na- 
"(tional, as it was after the Jew* came out of Egypt, then God himself wrote his Law in Tables of 

* Stone, and Mote* wrote his five books; and then, from that time forward, the sacred Histories 
"and Prophesies under the Old Testament , and the Gospel, and other Parts of the New Testament, 

* were committed to Writing for these Reasons principally. 

a 1. That they might be the better preserved from being lost or forgotten. 

"2. That they might be the better preserved from being corrupted: For that which is delivered 

* only by Word of Mouth is many times varied and changed in the second or third hand. 

" 3. That it might be the better dispersed and communicated to all Mankind. And this was 
"done in the Old Testament by Translations of it into Greek, about two hundred Years before 

* Christ, and dispersing it into a great part of the World. And after Christ's Time, both the Old 
a xn& New Testament, translated into several Languages, and since dispersed over the World; 
" which could not have been so well done, had it not been at first in Writing. 

"Thus the Wisdom and Providence of God provides for the Exigence of all limes most wisely 
** and excellently: And hav ing preserved part of this precious Jewel, the Old Testament, for the 
" most part, within the Commonwealth of the Jeu#, till it was broken, about the Time of Christ, 
" by the Roman*, hath dolivc red both to all Mankind. 

"3. It is to be enquired, fVliat Evidence loe have to prove those Writing* to be the IVord of God. 
" And omitting many others, we insist on these principally. 

" 1. In the Writings of Men, especially when written by several Men at several times, their 
" Writings do seldom or never agree, but differ and cross one another. And the Reason is, because 
M they are written by several Men, who are all guided by several Minds and Judgments. But the 
" Scriptures, though written by several Men in several Ages, many unacquainted with one anoth- 
" er's Writings, yet they all consent and speak the same Truth, which is an Evidence that it was 
"one and the same Spirit chat did dictate them. 

2. It is not possible for any Man. without Revelation from God, to foretell Things to come. 



"Now these holy Writings, foretold things that must certainlucome to pass in their several Seasons, 
" tho' many Generations after the Prophecy written, therefore they were written by Inspiration 
"from God. As for Instance, the Babylonian Captivity, and the Deliverance from it, by Jeremy; 
'' the Persian and Grecian Monarchy, by Daniel; the Birth and Death of Christ, the final Destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, and Dispersion of the Jews, the Conversion of the Gentiles, by I*aiaA, and the 
" n st of the Prophets. 

" 3. The Matter contained in these holy Writings, is that of the greatest Importance; the Will 
u of God concerning Man, the Discovery of the Creation of the World by God; of Assurance of the 
" Life to come; of the Means of Peace between God and Man. These are things of the highest 
"Concernment in the World, yet things which could never be discovered but by God himself; and 
"such as never any Writings of Men only evereould discover, or durst pretend unto: The Height, 
"and Rarity, and Excellence, and Weight of the Matter of these Books, do evidence, that they 
"were the Revelations of God to Man, and by his Providence committed to Writing, and delivered 
"over to Mankind, as the Rule to attain their chief End. 

"4. As the Rule to attain our chief End must eome from God, and as the Scriptures of the Old 
"and New Testament are the Word of God, to we say, That these Scriptures are the Kule to attain 
"our chief End. Good Books of other Men, good Education, good Sermons, the Determinations 
"of the Church.are good Helps; but it is by this Rule we must try other Mens Books and Sermons, 
"yea, the very Church itself. Thus the Bereans tried the Doctrine of the Apostles themselves by 




tf the Rule, 

"1. Then not a natural Conscience, especially as the Gate now stands with Mankind; for that 
"is many timet corrupted and fabe principled, puts Good for Evil, and Evil for Good: It is, and 
"may be, a great Help, Guide and Direction, not a perfect Rule. 

"2. Then not the Writings and Traditions of Men: God that appoints the End and Means, 
** must be the Discoverer of the Means of our Salvation. . 

"3. Then not pretended Revelations; those may be Mem Imaginations, or the Devil's Delusions: 



(38) 

than any contemporary researches of the learned. 
This great scholar is well known to have been par- 
ticularly eminent for his attainments in Astronomy, 
Chronology, Antiquities, Languages, and Natural 
History, as well as Law. Before he went to India, 
it is said, that he was not free himself from the scep- 
tical bias against the authority of the Scriptures: but, 
when in Asia, finding, in the course of his researches 
into the antiquities of the East, that many of the lead- 
ing circumstances of the Mosaic history were detail- 
ed, with various degrees of corruption, or perver- 
sion, in the writings of the Hindoos, he set himself 
to investigate, with minute and rigid attention, all 
those intricate theological points, which had occa- 
sioned his doubts; and the result was his entire con- 
viction of the verity of the Mosaic records. After 
his decease, this declaration was found written on 
one of the blank leaves of his common reading 
Bible: 

" I have regularly, and attentively, read the Holy 
u Scriptures-, and am of opinion, that the Collection of 
" Tracts, which we call, from their excellence, the 
" Scriptures, contains, (independently of a Divine ori- 
" gin) more true sublimity, more exquisite beauty, 
" purer morality, more important history, and finer 



"to prevent and discover which, God hath tet up this great and standing Revelation of his Scrip- 
•' tares. 

M •!. Then not the Church, for that may err; and it hath no way to evidence itself but by the 
" Scriptures, which are its Foundation. 

" The Business of Man's Salvation is of tliat Importance, and the Wisdom of God so great; that 
" he will not commit so weighty a Matter to such uncertain Rules as these, but hath provided one 
" of his own making, the Holy Scriptures. 

"But though what Man is to believe concerning God, and what Duty God requires of Man, be 
*<the p'incipal Matter or Subject of the Scriptures, yet they also contain very many ether Matters, 
u that do very much concern us to know ana believe; as namely, what we are to understand con- 
"ccrning ourselves, the State of our Creation, the Fall of Man, the State wherein that Fall hath 
*'put all Mankind, the Means of our Recovery, the different Estate of the Good and Bad after 
" Death, the History of die Church and Household of God, from the Creation of Man, till some 
4 thirty Years after the Resurrection of Clurist." &c 



til 

(39) 

" strains, both of poetry and eloquence, than could 
"be collected, within the same compass, from all 
" other books that were ever composed, in any age, 
" or in any idiom. 

"The two parts of which the Scriptures consist 
"are connected by a chain of compositions [the 
"Prophets, &c] which bear no resemblance, in 
" form or style, to any that can be produced, from 
"the stores of Grecian, Indian, Persian, or even 
" Arabian learning. 

"The antiquity of those compositions no man 
" doubts*, and the unconstrained application of them 
" to events long subsequent to their publication, is a 
" solid ground of belief, that they were genuine pre- 
" dictions, and consequently inspired." 



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